Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said the autopsies support his office's theory about what took place that day
By Kimball Perry
The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Westerville police
Officer Eric Joering was killed Feb. 10 when he was shot three times,
once in the forehead, while fellow Officer Anthony Morelli died after
being shot in the chest as they responded to a possible domestic violence call.
are the findings of autopsies performed by the Franklin County
Coroner's office on both officers. Quentin Lamar Smith, 30, has been
charged with two counts of aggravated murder in the case for shooting
both officers to death as they responded to Smith's townhouse just
before noon on the 300 block of Cross Wind Drive.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said Thursday the autopsies
support his office's theory about what took place that day. O'Brien is
seeking the death penalty against Smith, who was wounded but recovered.
Joering was the first one to the door, and the shot to his head
indicates what happened," O'Brien said shortly after the official
autopsies were released Thursday.
"He was shot at point-blank range. We believe it instantly caused his death," the prosecutor said.
fatal shot to Joering was in the forehead and exited from the back of
the left side of his neck. The autopsy showed Joering, 39, also was shot
in the left arm and shoulder and the right forearm. He died at the
Morelli, 54, who was right behind Joering as the officers
responded, was shot in the left chest, with the bullet traveling from
left to right. The bullet penetrated the heart and both lungs. Morelli
was transported but later died at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical
Westerville police earlier reported both officers were wearing body armor.
Both autopsies determined the deaths were caused by homicide.
Smith was shot "four or five times" by Morelli before the officer went down, O'Brien said.
officers went to the home after a 911 hangup at the residence where
police previously responded to domestic disturbance calls. When they
arrived, police said, Smith's wife told them Smith assaulted her and had
In Ohio, conviction for purposefully killing one or more police officers is a crime punishable by death.